Change of Use - Planning Permission Checker

Introduction - General Information

Note: This questionnaire is based on national legislation and is therefore applicable to anywhere in Scotland. Although it will provide a comprehensive answer this is not definitive. It is still advised that you contact the planning department or seek other professional advice.

Changing the use of a building or piece of land may require planning permission, even if no physical alterations take place. e.g. shop to office. (Please note if physical works are involved then other permissions may still be required e.g Building Warrants; Landlord's Consent; Listed Building Consent). In some cases such physical alterations may require planning consent in their own right e.g. Shop front alterations. Please check with the Planning department.

For partial changes of use planning permission may also be required. In such cases a fact and degree judgement has to be exercised as to what is the Primary (Main) use. Where partial changes of use are ancillary (subsidiary) to the primary use, planning consent is not generally required. Please check with the Planning department.

The legislation governing these changes is the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997 and the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992. The former defines the categories into which land uses fall, while the latter permits certain changes between these uses without the need for planning consent.

Using the Change of Use Checker

The Change of Use Checker allows you to find out whether a proposal requires planning permission. The main page provides a list of the use classes, with examples. More detailed descriptions on the types of use within that class can be gained by clicking the button.

To select the existing or last known use class of the property click the button next to the appropriate class.
(The "Existing Use" box at the top of the page will change accordingly).

To select the proposed use class of the property click button.
(The "Proposed Use" box at the top of the page will change accordingly).

You are then automatically informed if you require Planning Permission and any qualifications which may apply.

There is also a live link to downloadable planning application forms, should you require them.

If your proposed and existing use fall within the same use class then no planning permission is required, as such a change does not constitute development. (This is not the case with uses falling within SUI GENERIS).


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